The sad fact is that both back in 1971 and today, African Americans have been frequently frowned upon in the music business by prejudiced Anglo-Saxon Caucasian business executives who just ignore the quality and sounds that African Americans can make on record. This is due to prejudice. Sly & The Family Stone were in existence, not just to make some popular songs, but also to break down barriers in the USA that existed. They had made a warped collection of fusion based music that was important, both lyrically and musically. How does this all sound? Let’s find out.

Luv N’ Haight – Single Version refers to the famous Hippie mecca in San Francisco, USA with an interesting pun title of this song. It begins with some loose guitar parts, and funky basslines and sounds really excellent from the start. It’s a Soul music mashup that sounds incredible. Sly Stone launches straight into an extraordinary piece to listen to, and this is already brilliant sounding. There are wah-wah guitars, female gospel styled vocals, beefy basslines and a loose, almost Jazz feel to this music. This is a great song and is specifically about the disillusionment that one has with the Hippie mecca place. A legendary, gorgeous and awesome proto-Disco tune, this deserves your attention and ears. There is a piano solo and stereo-panned vocals here as well. A really cool and legendary piece of music, this is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of music. Primal Scream and countless others were obviously inspired by this sort of music. A very, very good piece of music that fades out at the end of it all. Fantastic.

Just Like A Baby begins with some subtle drumming and some interesting and gentle sounds that sound like a modern sex song musically. There is a multitude of great textures and sounds present which are awesome and interesting to listen to. Once the singing by Sly Stone emerges, this has many stereo-panned musical parts. Sly Stone comes across as a sleazy and high musician, which sums this up with his attitude. Musically, this is a great effort to hear, and the whole listening experience of this song is amazing. Some alternating vocals are present in this song as well. A really fantastic tune to hear, this is classy. A very awesome and amazing listen, this sounds a lot like Psychedelic Soul, but with a dirty, groovy and sexual energy. There is an organ solo in the second half of this song, which is cool. A weird sounding tune, but something one can appreciate. A thoroughly great listen, and awesome to hear. This is another classic song from this album, despite the fact that it sounds weird. It’s brilliant, however.

Poet begins with some cool drums, keyboards galore and wah-wah instrumentation. Sly Stone begins to sing really nicely in this song, and this is definitely something one can appreciate. A really pretty, interesting and dynamic tune. A really legendary and dirty sounding piece of music, this is from the era of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Sly Stone sounds as though he is super high on weed (and likely on other drugs as well). All the same, a great and effortless piece of music that has lasted to this very day. Brilliant tune, only three minutes long as well. Good to listen to.

Family Affair – Single Version begins with some interesting wah-wah guitar and keyboards, launching straight into the music at hand. This sounds like nothing else in the history of music, and Sly & The Family Stone makes a wonderful tune. This has a wah-wah guitar solo that sounds pretty and brilliant. It’s about family issues, which are fairly negative. Still, this is an upbeat listen present which is a little strange, given the lyricism here. This wraps up quickly with some interesting singing, followed by a quick fade-out.

Africa Talks To You (“The Asphalt Jungle”) is an eight minute long piece. It begins with grinding bass lines, keyboards galore and some clean Fender Stratocaster styled guitar parts. This is a really fascinating listening experience, and the playing on this tune is really superb as well. An uplifting tune that has some more female Gospel singing, this time about hedonist urges. Again, this is a terrific album and song to hear as well. The loose but somehow coherent musical sections are brilliant, and the whole thing sounds cool, funky and amazing for it is. Catchy as well, the Gospel vocals on this song are tremendously awesome. After a while, this lurches into a decent and interesting instrumental section, with some random and weird hollered vocals. The sounds and instrumentation in this section are really fantastic and worth your time and ears. This extended piece of music is brilliant and awesome to listen to, and the track here is a winner. The mixture of Rock, Pop, Blues, Gospel and Soul will have you wanting more from these guys. This is proto-Disco and House music, as Sly Stone creates an extended, yet enjoyably unique piece of music. This has some driving basslines in the second half, along with some great and creative sounds to match it. An awesome and exceptionally cool tune, this sounds refreshing and interesting from start to finish. A good piece of music that sounds enjoyable, this is a very good listening experience. A great extended jam, not a moment is wasted on this record. Nonetheless, a dirty and funky groove that sounds extremely cool, all the way through to the fade out.

There’s A Riot Goin’ On is four seconds of silence. Nothing much to be said about this, but it’s a weird thing alright. It was apparently left on this album to prevent further riots from happening in the USA, according to Sly Stone. There was a riot at one of their gigs before Sly & The Family Stone even stepped up to play. Hence this decision.

Brave & Strong – Single Version begins with some interesting percussion and launches into some upbeat Psychedelic Soul present here. This has horns galore and other neat production melodies. This is another great piece of music from Sly & The Family Stone, these guys seriously know how to make some excellent sounds. This isn’t a million miles away from Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew album either, and like that album, this is needed in your collection of music. A pretty and different tune, with some strange yelping throughout, this demands your ears. In the second half, the basslines get very prominent and this increases in volume a bit. A joyous and interesting piece of music, this wraps up after three minutes with horns galore. Excellent.

(You Caught Me) Smilin’ – Single Version begins with some really weird melodies, quickly launching a great and sensual piece of music, complete with deep basslines and some extreme hollering from Sly Stone. This isn’t the best song from this album, but it is still a great listen to this day. There are horns, clean Fender Stratocaster parts and a groovy backbeat. This is a strange piece of lyricism, however, and Sly Stone and crew make some interesting music that one can appreciate. Another cool listening experience, this is still worth hearing. Excellent stuff.

Time is not a Pink Floyd cover, but a Sly Stone original. It begins slowly and quietly, with organs and drum machine parts. Sly Stone sings sweetly over the top of this music, and it does sound pretty and awesome. This is a post-Blues tune that sounds great, even to this day. Sly & The Family Stone were great musicians on this record, period. There are some interesting wah-wah guitars in the second half before the singing quickly resumes. Awesome music to relax to, this is likely best experienced when high. A fine tune, nice to hear this.

Spaced Cowboy is another strange sounding number with unusual keyboards, chopped up rhythms and 60 cycle guitar hum in the background. This is a laidback tune that demands to be heard. The wah-wah guitars and keyboards sound brilliant here. Soon enough, Sly and co begin singing along to this song extremely well. The drums get faster and more upbeat in the middle, and this piece of music is really different and quirky, that is for sure. There is some yodelling throughout, which is very odd. In any case, this is a great listen. Some harmonica is in the second half of this tune, and it is nicely played here. A different and weird tune, but one that works. A very varied and different listening experience, it may not be for everyone, but this does sound good. A good effort that ends abruptly.

Runnin’ Away – Single Version begins with some choppy drumrolls and launches straight into a decent tune that doesn’t have Sly Stone singing on this (likely with Rose Stone singing this instead), and it is a pretty and decent listening experience. Some muted horns are present as well. This is a sweet and mellow ballad from Sly & The Family Stone, and this is a good piece of music to listen to. A fresh, different and unique tune, this isn’t a million away from Miles Davis, as mentioned before. The second half has some more overt funky Fender Stratocaster playing and keyboards galore. Weird, but brilliant. It works well and fades out nicely at the end.

Thank You For Talkin’ To Me, Africa is the final track on this album, beginning with some cool bass guitar, Fender Stratocaster parts and some simple drumming. This is a great instrumental from the moment you hear it, without a doubt. A really bottom heavy sounding piece of music, this is much more orthodox than anything else recorded on this album. A fresh, awesome and wonderful tune, to this very day. Shortly into it, emerges some vocals to match this tune, and this piece sounds fresh, different and lively. Great music to hear, this is proof of Sly Stone’s extraordinary talent as a musician. “I want to thank you, for letting me be myself, again…” is a truly unpretentious lyric here. This does build up in intensity towards the middle, with the vocals mixed up higher and becoming more prominent. Nonetheless, this is a really cool and exploration tune, straight from the LSD era of music. This sounds extraordinarily good and shows some brilliant musical ability by Sly & The Family Stone. The second half has some more improvised jamming that is excellent. A really awesome tune but this is not going to be to everyone’s tastes. Still, it sounds really great for what it is. Towards the end, this piece gets a lot more minimal and straightforward to hear. A nice way to finish off a very good album and a great musical path has been written out here.

This is a very good album that, although it is really quirky and weird, it is the case that Sly & The Family Stone have done a fantastic job present musically. A good mixture of Psychedelic, Rock, Blues, Gospel, Soul and other types of music, all wrapped together into a unique album and artistry. Should you listen to this album? Give it a try, it’s worth hearing, especially when you need something to chill out to.

Weird and wonderful yet important music.